Category Archives: rescue dog

Meet Scout, an Avalanche Rescue Dog Sponsored by CANIDAE


By Suzanne Alicie

The CANIDAE dog sponsorship program began in 2006 as a way to support extraordinary dogs and the people who love them. Among the many canines chosen for sponsorship are teams who participate in dog sports, therapy dogs, K-9 units, assistance dogs and rescue dogs. These dogs are all fed CANIDAE products to provide them with the energy, strength and nutrition required for their demanding jobs.

One of these CANIDAE-sponsored special achievers is Scout, a Chocolate Labrador retriever who works for Copper Mountain as a Certified Avalanche Rescue Dog. His handler, Rich Silkey CMSP, took time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions for me about Scout and the job they do together at Copper Mountain Resort in Colorado. What an eye opener it was to learn about this dog and his amazing job.

Rich is not just Scout’s handler, he is his owner. Many places have rescue dogs that are owned by a resort or company and live on site. Scout, however, is a hard working dog that gets to go home at night. Socializing is a big part of Scout’s job. On a typical day, which means a day that an avalanche doesn’t occur, Scout enjoys riding up to the duty station on the chair lift, sleeping in the duty station, patrolling with Rich and interacting with the guests. But don’t assume he’s a lazy dog sleeping the day away. The playful and friendly Scout gets a lot of exercise playing with the kids from ski school when he’s not busy. Sounds like a tough job huh?

Well, when an avalanche happens Scout is all business. He began his training at 8 weeks old. Now at almost 4 years old Scout is a certified and professional avalanche rescue dog who knows when it is time to stop playing and start working. Labradors aren’t the only breed suitable for avalanche rescue. Copper Mountain utilizes 6 avalanche rescue dogs that rotate through each week, including Border Collies, Australian Shepherds and German Shepherds. However, Rich selected a Labrador to train as an avalanche rescue dog and as a pet because of the breed’s agility, work ethic, stamina, loyalty and excellent nose.

Unlike dogs who trail or track a specific person or scent, avalanche rescue dogs are trained to air scent for humans, in and under the snow. Victims buried in the snow as a result of an avalanche are just one type of snow rescue. Youth and elderly that have fallen due to injury or hypothermia can become covered by snowfall. Even a healthy well-prepared hiker or skier who holes up in a snow cave after having become lost or exhausted is another type of rescue for an avalanche rescue dog. Because once a person becomes buried, detection by the naked eye is impossible.

These awe inspiring rescue dogs can detect the human scent more than 15 feet deep. Dogs can cover the dangerous terrain of an avalanche area approximately 8 times faster than a human. This means that Scout is usually the first on the scene and helps make sure that people get rescued in time thanks to his wonderful nose and excellent training.

According to Mr. Silkey, Scout performs his task of air scenting to locate a buried person and does an aggressive double paw dig as an alert. But he doesn’t stop there; Scout continues digging and sometimes has the avalanche victim dug out before his human backup arrives. For performing his job so well, Scout gets to enjoy a good game of tug-of-war with his favorite toy.

To make sure that Scout and the other dogs stay on task and don’t forget valuable training, the crew does a mock search once a week to help them stay sharp and practice their skills. Helping teach and lead younger dogs like the two new dogs that are just beginning their training also keeps Scout and the other avalanche rescue dogs at Copper Mountain on top of their game.

Due to the rigors of their job, the cold and unyielding snow and the pressures of the searches, avalanche rescue dogs usually work until they are between 7 and 12 years of age. CANIDAE dog food helps provide the extra nutrition and energy these dogs need to stay healthy and happy from the beginning of their hard working lives through their retirement and lazy days.

The CANIDAE team is proud to sponsor Scout as he goes about the business of saving lives with his partner Rich in the cold and snow at Copper Mountain.

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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Blog Sponsor Helps Police Canine Units and Avalanche Rescue Dog

CALIFORNIA AND ARIZONA POLICE CANINE UNITS
CANIDAE Helps to Take a Bite Out of Crime
Robert Bemis, Regional Sales Manager for CANIDAE All Natural Pet Foods, was approached by the Pomona Police Department recently regarding the department’s Canine Unit. Earlier this year, the unit lost a Belgian Malinois patrol dog named Buddy to his battle with canine cancer. The department needed to replace Buddy with a new 
dog, but budget constraints and a lack of donations made it difficult.
CANIDAE has a long history of supporting both local and pet related causes including an ongoing series of fund raisers for the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation. “We were very saddened to hear of Buddy’s death from canine cancer. We’re very involved with raising funds to treat and prevent cancer in dogs so we are very sensitive to that issue. We wanted to help,” Bemis said.
“This not the first time we have worked with law enforcement,” Bemis continued. “I’m working to finalize a narcotics dog sponsorship for the Sumerton Arizona Police right now, and CANIDAE has been supporting law enforcement agencies across the country by providing food for their canine units for years.”
CANIDAE officially donated the Belgian Malinois, named Baco, to the Pomona Police Department’s Canine Unit this past March. The newest member of the Police Department’s canine unit, he is in his fourth week of training and getting ready to begin patrol duties with his handler. The 3 1/2 year old Belgian Malinois has shown he’s energetic, alert, brave and sociable with his handler, Officer Theo Joseph.
“Buddy’s death caught everyone by surprise”, said Sgt. Mike Ellis, who oversees the Police Department’s canine program. “Because the dog’s death came suddenly, no one was able to plan for a replacement,” Ellis said.
The donation from CANIDAE came at a critical time for the department, but now the Canine Unit must prepare for the retirement of another dog, Rocky, who will retire in about three months after 11 years of service.
People interested in contributing toward the purchase of Rocky’s replacement can attend the Eagles’ taco nights, which begin at 6 p.m. Mondays at the Eagles Lodge, 954 W. Mission Blvd., Pomona.
Checks can also be made out to the “Eagles K-9 Fund” and mailed in care of Sgt. Mike Ellis to the Pomona Police Department, 490 W. Mission Blvd., Pomona, CA 91766. Donations will be forwarded to the Eagles.

COPPER MOUNTAIN SKI PATROL
CANIDAE Sponsored Rescue Dog Helps Ski Patrol Team Ensure A Safe Mountain Experience
“Last week I had the opportunity to watch Cascade, a CANIDAE All Natural Pet Foods sponsored back country avalanche search dog at work. Cascade is a 3-year old Golden Retriever that is handled by Chris and Hanna Sutton of Copper Mountain Ski Patrol in the beautiful Colorado Rockies,” said Chris Milliken, Regional Sales Manager for CANIDAE.
Copper Mountain Ski Patrol in Colorado is one of the larger patrol teams in the county. The staff consists of 60 full-time patrollers, 100 volunteers who work as Slope Watch (the folks who tell you to slow down on groomers and other high-traffic runs), 20 medical volunteer professionals (doctors and nurses who donate their time on the mountain to increase Copper’s medical response force), and 15 high school students who assist in most patrol operations.
The avalanche dogs Cascade, Tucker, Tracker, Eddy, and Bridger round out the team.
Chris Milliken recently had the opportunity to watch Cascade participate in a training exercise. “It was great to see Cascade proudly sporting the CANIDAE Pet Foods patches on his vest. Cascade is a true testament to the results of feeding CANIDAE, from his great looking coat to his ability consistently perform in these high-pressure situations,” Milliken said.

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.